Trails & Habitat Management Graduate Assistant

The Macoskey Center, Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania

Job Type Student / postdoc
Salary Details Tuition Coverage & Hourly Pay (Please contact for more details)
Deadline Apr 15, 2021
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

*Please note that you must be in the application process to one of Slippery Rock University's graduate programs to be considered for this position*

Position Description: The Macoskey Center for Sustainability Education & Research (MC) is Slippery Rock University's campus hub for sustainability and environmental education. We are seeking an active and enthusiastic graduate student to join our leadership team to assist in helping us to maintain the trails and habitat management aspects of our property. The property features an 83-acre forested landscape with hiking trails, a permaculture garden demonstration site, an ecotherapy garden, chickens, a LEED-certified house with classroom and office space, and much more. We aim to create accessible and equitable opportunities for SRU students and community members to benefit from and learn about all that the site has to offer. We are seeking a highly motivated student with a positive attitude and teachable spirit who can make strong connections between the mission and scope of The Macoskey Center and their chosen field of study.

Start Date:  Monday, May 10th, 2021 (negotiable)

End Date: Friday, Aug. 13th, 2021 (If GA meets supervisor’s expectations, then they can continue in the position for Fall 2021, Spring 2022 & Summer 2022)

Mission/Vision of The Macoskey Center: 

The Macoskey Center aims to inspire and create a more socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable and just future. We achieve this through: 

  • Educating and inspiring the SRU and regional communities through sustainability workshops, tours, programming, interdisciplinary research, as well as outdoor recreational experiences 
  • Demonstrating how people from all walks of life can live more sustainably through the management and maintenance of our 83-acre homestead
  • Cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships to effectively integrate SRU’s curriculum with the co-curriculum, to enhance education, research, and demonstration, as well as to advance the quality of life both on and off-campus 

Learn more about The Macoskey Center here:

Job Functions/Responsibilities:

  • Carry out management and trail maintenance priorities outlined in The Macoskey Center Habitat Improvement Plan (MCHIP) and update, as needed
  • Recruit, train, schedule, and supervise student volunteer groups for habitat management projects
  • Remove invasive plant species from the property (i.e. Japanese knotweed, multiflora rose, Japanese barberry) using sustainable methods.
  • Assist with researching, identifying, and applying for grants for trails and habitat management projects
  • Assist with grounds and trail maintenance 
  • Perform general construction and maintenance activities at the MC including light carpentry and painting  
  • Provide excellent customer service and public relations with visitors to The Macoskey Center and The Macoskey Center on-campus farm stand
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Clear background check from SRU Payroll System BEFOREstart date
  • Must meet eligibility standards of the graduate school including unconditional acceptance into a graduate program and a class load of 6 semester hours of graduate coursework
  • Experience and/or pursuing a graduate degree in a field related to environmental education, parks & resource management, and/or sustainability
  • Trail maintenance and construction planning and implementation experience
  • Habitat management project planning and implementation experience
  • Carpentry skills
  • Availability on evenings and weekends, especially for special events
  • Comfortable with public speaking and working with groups of all ages and sizes
  • Seeks tangible opportunities to connect the responsibilities of this position to coursework requirements in the student’s chosen field of study
  • Arrives to work in a timely manner exhibiting professionalism, a positive attitude, flexibility, an ability to adapt to new challenges, strong interpersonal skills, and a desire to learn
  • Committed to and passionate about the Mission/Vision of the MC

Desired Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of sustainable trail maintenance and habitat management practices, agroforestry, and ecology
  • Highly organized with attention to detail
  • Ability to work autonomously or as a part of a collaborative team
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Professional work ethic and teachable spirit
  • Experience supervising others
  • Valid Driver’s License

Student Outcomes & Benefits:

  • Completion of associated workshops and certification trainings (opportunities may vary depending on time of year)
  • Gain hands-on experience in natural resource management and conservation, as well as, trail maintenance and development
  • Foster skills in supervision and student mentorship
  • Increase skills in complex project management and prioritization
  • Gain experience working collaboratively with undergraduate students, SRU faculty and staff, and community members.
  • Develop skills in visitor services and management
  • Allowance of up to 10 days (Summer) and 5 days (Fall/Spring) unpaid vacation time
  • Various professional development opportunities including conference attendance
  • One-on-one mentorship with The Macoskey Center Manager

Please submit the following materials to

  • SRU GA Employment Application found here.
  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

Application/Hiring Process Timeline & Directions: 

  • DEADLINE TO APPLY: Thursday, April 15th 2021 by 11:59pm   
  • Notification of Interviews will be sent by Friday, April 16th by 4:30pm 
  • Interview sign-ups due by Sunday, April 18th by 11:59pm 
  • Interviews to be conducted Week of April 19th 
  • Candidates notified of final decision by Friday, April 23rd by 11:59pm
  • Negotiable Start Date of the Week of May 10th, 2021 
When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.